View Full Version : Fuel guage registers full

09-05-2004, 02:50 PM
Took my softail in for its first service came back with the fuel guage registering full regardless of tank contents.
It must be a coincedance cus I cant see what the hell they would do to cause the problem.
My own guess is either the float is stuck or the return lead from the sender is grounding out somewhere.
Any of you guys had similar fuel guage problems ??
One question where is the plug in for the scanalizer cus if its under the dash the dealer could have disturbed something when and if it was removed all thoughts appreciated
Ride Safe.

09-05-2004, 03:26 PM
i belive your plugin, is located behind the side cover on the kicker side of your bike. i would go with your first thought that it is stuck or that a wire came lose or got pinched

09-05-2004, 06:01 PM
After I had the fuel pump replaced in my Deuce, the fuel gauge now reads completely different from before. The needle moves towards empty much faster now. I checked the gas mileage, and it is the same. I checked the tank capacity, and it is still 5 gal. I asked the dealer about this, and they said that the fuel gauges are completely unreliable. I tend to agree, so now I just read the mileage off my tripmeter.
But in your case, I agree with Wreckerman that some wire may have been knocked loose.
Just thought I'd post this little bit of amusing information.

09-05-2004, 09:43 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I would think that a disconnected wire would probably give an empty reading on the gauge, so a sticking float or grounded return looks highly suspect. The bikes still well within warranty with only 700 miles clocked so the stealer can sort the problem. But if they scratch the tank,lives will be lost there.
Just a thought on guages being inaccurate amongst the Harley family. I think we need to remember that our fuel tanks are the real thing and not a lump of plastic hiding an air cleaner as is the case on many Harley replicas. Most having there fuel tanks where our oil tanks reside.
The shape of a proper tank is bound to give wierd readings as the leval drops through a changing shape so I guess we need to accept the guages are more novelty than anything else.
My models fuel injected so my only gripe is not having a reserve to call on when fuel runs out . I will rely on the mileometer for peace of mind but what kind of mileage are you guys getting from a full tank ?

09-06-2004, 12:47 AM
that would be a good idea , to keep track of miles instead of tank gauge , anyway my o2 rk with efi and some mods gets about 170 to reserve and that is with 2 up and i like to hammer it, hope that helps a little , but truely fill it up ride normenal and carrey a qt of gas , that way you will be able to get a true reading other way would be to fill it up blast around a bit then top it off again and see what your miliage was B)

09-06-2004, 05:16 PM
My 02 Deuce with EFI gets anywhere from 35-43 mpg, depending on the type of riding conditions. So, 175-215 miles per tank, but I always fill up at about 150-160 miles.

09-20-2004, 02:59 AM
Mine started registering full after about the 3rd tank of gas.It worked with one tank the other day and now it goes to about 7/8ths.It always returns to empty when the ign.is off.I was told that the float is hanging and that it can be adjusted.I want a chrome cap w.the blue LEDs,I can't read the factory one unless I,m right on top of it.
The service manager is going to check if I can just pay the difference between the two.Hopefully the LED style is not as big of a piece of garbage as the factory one.

Elrod on the V-Rod

09-20-2004, 02:23 PM
My dresser's fuel gauge is not very accurate either. That on top of it usually being filled with condensation until the heat from the engine or the sund cooks it for a while and dries it out.

Mine reads full from the time it is filled up until about one hundred and fifteen miles then it starts its progression, sometimes rather quickly towards empty.

I usually get between 41 and 45 miles per gallon, but last weekend at the DelMarVa bike week at Ocean City Maryland I only got about 32. That was mostly sitting in traffic and at lights. Other than when doing that kind of riding I usually fill up when I reach about 150 to 160 miles on the trip meter, which can be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 on the gauge.

That is one of the items that I do not think will be there for very long. I'll either switch it to a Dakota Digital fuel gauge or replace it with something like a cylinder head temp gauge.

Just as soon as I can free up some cash... :o

09-20-2004, 11:44 PM
I went to the dealer today and made an appointment for the fuel guage problem.I was told that it is not the guage,but the sending unit and they ALL have this problem.The service manager said that there is a repair.It is accessed from under the dash.There goes my inexpensive LED guage! I have the appointment on Wed.I'll let ya know what the fix is and if it's just a stab or a real fix.Oh yea I get 40 mpg on average.

Elrod on the V-Rod

09-21-2004, 07:53 PM
Just to keep you updated Bikes been in the stealers since sept 10th.
They say a faulty fuel sender is the problem I can wear that but the fact they are still waiting for a replacement is a little hard to swallow.
Provided there invasive actions into the tank dont lead to other problems
like a leaking top gasket or fuel pump hoses leaking ect,ect, then ok but my patience is starting to run thin after all its the 21st today Will keep you posted. Just glad an engine rebuild aint needed just think how long that would take ??
Ride safe.

09-22-2004, 10:46 PM
Had the repair done today.Picked the bike up and was upset because it was stuck slam on full.Got home,did a visual and the tank was slam filled.I had less than a half when I dropped it off.Those bastards,they filled it up for me! :D The SA said that the sender rubs the tank and they have to bend it out of the way.So far so good.I was also told that nothing can be done about guage window moisture,but it's documented incase of any failure on down the road.
Sparkman I don't see why IF parts had to be ordered that the bike has not been reassembled and returned to you for the wait.Maybe something else went wrong,such as possible tech error.
I sure am treated alot better w. this bike than w. the V-Rod.This dealer has done some house cleaning.

09-23-2004, 09:40 PM
I think your on the money ElrodontheVrod My thoughts exactly. Something stinks cus I phoned today and they said the fuel sender is still on back order from HD. I feel that considering the guage was registering full a sender problem would be more likely mechanical than electrical cus an electrical fault could only open circuit on the resistor winding and this would result in an empty tank reading not full. That leaves a sticking float or as you said possibly fouling on the tank.
If they have messed up on dismantling it could be anything from a complete fuel pump and hoses to a damaged or scratched tank who knows ? Still I must sit tight and wait but I,m keeping my nut crackers well oiled and ready for use on some little sh**.
Thanks for your input,opinion, and update on your prob makes me feel a lot less lonely knowing you guys are out there.

10-08-2004, 07:51 PM
Bikes been with stealer exactly one month now so I went and got it back.The stealer says a new sender is still on back order and that there may be recall related problems with the units on 04 models. I said I will keep the bike until the new part arrives then I will bring it in and wait until its fitted. I dont remember seeing any recall issues relating to this part maybe there right maybe there full of sh*t time will tell. crapper

10-08-2004, 10:58 PM
sparkman the dealer might or might not be full of shit , sometimes when harley see's a lot of warrenty work on a idem they investgate it further and devolbe a cure , but they keep it to them selfs before annoceing a recall so the dealer might have recived a service bulleten on the sender unit and harley might not be shipping any old units tell it finds out what the problem might be

10-09-2004, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the comments wreckerman shame dealers cant come clean on this stuff though. A four week wait wasnt what I had in mind thats a lot of ride time just sitting there, and I love to ride this beast. Best bike I have ever owned so a stupid guage fault is no big deal in itself.
My only gripe is the way these things are handled. Not only that but I must be going soft,What happened to the days when I would take the filler cap off shake the bike and say yea thats enough to get me to the pub and back.

10-09-2004, 03:53 PM
I must have lucked out. I have a 2000 Heritage and the guage works perfectly, dead on accurate. When it gets close to empty, I'll put it on reserve and hit the station. I fill up and it takes 4.5-4.7 everytime.

10-09-2004, 04:02 PM
I had a problem w. the dealer I buy 97% of my stuff from.My brother and I have purchased 4 new Harleys in the past 14 mos.I had a sit down w. the GM.He asked just what the hell do I expect from him? I told him that I work for Aamco trans.as a rebuider,a very pricey shop,just like a Harley dealer and what I expect from Harley service is 110%,the same damn thing I give to our customers.Now I am told the truth.And service is a pleasure.
I have not heard of a TSB or a future recall on tank senders,maybe the dealer I use has figured an in-house repair for the sender problem.I will ask.
My fuel guage has worked flawlessly since the adjustment. :D

Elrod on the V-Rod

10-10-2004, 06:11 AM
at about 500 miles I had the always full tank.. dealer replaced it said its
a very close fit .. not it reads high till after 1/2 then it races towards empty.
I use 175 miles as a danger limit.. I need to walk and smokes after
100 miles anyway.. with wife on back its more like 70 miles or an hour.
These days warning lamp comes on with .5 gallons left..


10-16-2004, 08:51 PM
I have had the same problem for a few weeks now with my fuel gauge. While having it serviced today I mentioned the problem to the tech. He knew straight away what the problem was (I guess they see it all the time). The petrol gauge float runs up and down on a long rod. If it is not put on squarely in the factory then it can get itself stuck at the top. It can either hit against the top of the tank and get stuck, or it can just cease up on the rod. I was told that overfilling of the tank (which I do all the time) is not a factor.
He took the float off and put it on properly and it works fine now.

He also noticed that there was water in my fuel gauge and in my warning light panel. I was told that this was WRONG and that they would replace these items for ones that do not leak at all.

10-16-2004, 08:58 PM
dr bob sounds like you have a good mate taking care of your service the dealers around here tell us to park the bike in the sun to get rid of the moistur i understand why you cant do that , because you never get any sun over there :lol: right B) have a good one and glad they took care of you

10-16-2004, 09:09 PM
Oh we see the sun alright! It beams through the rain clouds almost daily.

The mechanic today was a diamond. I always try to get him to do it for me. Today he was the only one in the shop as they are having staffing problems (?). This guy was trying to keep everyone happy at the same time, and he succeeded. He even asked me if I wanted the bike washed! I didn't know that was part of the deal. (I said no by the way)

I don't want to jump the gun with the petrol gauge. I shall give it a while to see if it starts doing it again. With my luck its bound to.